MFA Creative Writing & Translation, BA in Journalism and Middle Eastern Studies | 2015
Got a job out of college with Harvest Group - a data analytics company - that has expanded internationally.
They thought - if he can learn Arabic, he can learn engineering and leadership. And they believed without someone who could communicate on a deeper level, that they were at a sever disadvantage.
"I absolutely loved my time at the University of Arkansas Arabic program. The program and the professors consistently believed in me and provided opportunities to go deeper and deeper. I took those opportunities and “racked up” the credit hours. The program also enabled me to study abroad in Jordan. After graduating, I continued my Arabic studies in the Creative Writing Translation (M.F.A.) program at the University of Arkansas where I became a published translator of Arabic short stories. I am incredibly grateful I had the chance to study under Adnan and Paula Haydar and be a part of the UA Arabic program.
Because of my language level and cultural experience a data analytics startup took a risk on me by hiring me. They were starting a branch in Tunisia and wanted someone with language experience to join the new country leader. They thought – if he can learn Arabic, he can learn engineering and leadership. And they believed without someone who could communicate on a deeper level, that they were at a severe disadvantage. Since moving, I cannot begin to tell how invaluable my Standard Arabic both professionally and personally as I moved my family to an Arabic speaking country. I’ve also been able to learn the local dialect quickly. I continue to deepen my Modern Standard Arabic while learning Tunisian Arabic from tutors (sometimes) and on the street (always).
One last note – knowing Arabic has given me the opportunity to serve people in ways I never thought I could. I’ve interpreted for Arab children who could not speak English and were having trouble coming out of their shell at daycare. I’ve interpreted for Arab families with children with disabilities needing to get their kids registered and given proper care in the public school system. As well as working on numerous immigration and legal cases as a translator. The USA does not have enough people doing the hard work of learning Arabic (or other critical languages). Whoever will do this hard work will have something valuable to offer the world—not only that but will be introduced to a world of wonderful people with rich history. The University of Arkansas Arabic Program – I love this program, I cannot rave about it enough, and it is because of the opportunities it gave me and how it shaped me."